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Monday, 18 November 2019


Yahoo Groups Gone. You Tube Driving Away Comic Channels...Blogger Next?

When I wrote and said that we are currently going through the Dark Ages of comics I thought I had exaggerated slightly. After all, the late Denis Gifford referred to the 2nd World War as the Dark Ages.
Yahoo 360, despite stating otherwise, closed leaving many bloggers minus all their content.
You Tube introduced the Multiversity to allow new creator content -then pulled the plug leaving a lot of newly established small businesses in trouble.
I set up my Yahoo groups around 2003 and with BritComics and spent 17 years working to make it a UK comic archive. lots of tech problems then rumours. Two weeks before Yahoo Yahoo told me that rumours about closing Yahoo Groups was false (I had actually stated that I believed Yahoo was planning to do this after it ceased to be an independent company in 2017.
Similar tech problems on Blogger resulted in my hearing from several independent internet experts that they suspected the owners -Google- intended to close Blogger.
Comics has been hit by one blow after another so no surprise there is an Age of Indifference.
Now many You Tube comic and toy collection channels are disappearing. Why? Because You Tube was spying on children in its audience which is illegal. They got hit with millions of dollars in fines. Now they have moved blame to creators on YT. Check into it as it seems the intention is to turn YT into a "Millennial;s based" channel.
Fandom is gone -as it was in the 1980s. The internet did the dirty deed as did the trolls, SJWs, anti  SJWs and "Wokes".
Well, we'll see hopw Blogger goes shall we?

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Dragon's Gorge - How to Build a Simple Diorama for D&D or Warhammer (Int...

Mancano dieci giorni a BilBOlbul

Saturday, 16 November 2019

25 Things You Missed In Zack Snyder's Watchmen (2009)

The Dark Ages of Comics or The Age of Indifference?

It never ceases to amaze me (actually it doesn't so there is your #comicbooklies moment!) how many people view my stuff but that's where it stops.

Tuesday of this week (12th?) I had to reset the CBO stats figures. For some reason the stats counter at the top of the page will not go beyond 4 million. It simply cuts back to 3,800,000. At times I note that the CBO URL is followed by be, fr, de, tw, de and so on as, presumably, Blogger -owned by Google- shifts its servers around and why they do this I leave to your imaginations. Blogger does not have a user feedback or support -since 2011 I have contacted them 25 times over issues and never received a single response and many other Blogger users will tell you the same.

Here is what my actual control panel told me at 0300 UK time:

Page views today
Page views yesterday
Page views last month
Page views all time history

Which would look far better on the home page though almost 4 million is nothing to be sneezed at!

Now these people will all see my art and books for sale.  Nothing. My online store gets a very large number of visits but no buyers.

I was checking something on my Art Wanted portfolio and took a double take when I caught sight of the stats there:

Now over 10,000 for 2019 is VERY respectable but despite the links sales.

4,863 page views on my DeviantArt page this year.  No sales.

Earlier in the year, on the Face Book Black Tower page, I looked at all the internet sites listing my books and that was world wide. Many millions. No sales though. The FB page itself gets between 104-144 views per day.  No one asks questions or buys books.

...I WILL finish this no matter how many times the laptop shuts down!

Now this is all a good indicator as to the health of the industry.  We know Marvel and DC, Image and Dark Horse are all seeing big drops in sales -though that may very well be down to how the companies are currently being run. In the future all of this Social Justice Warrior and WOKE crap will be seen as comics "Dark Ages" when the readers became less important (and the comics) compared to being "right on" and forcing 'diversity' on an industry that never needed it -if you think it did then you have no real idea about comics and their history.

For Independents that depend on every $, or in my case every £, it is bad. There seems to be a new clique of comic book 'fan' out there: the ones I mentioned elsewhere on CBO this week who shout support for Indie comics and tell everyone that they buy them ...but never do. It gives the false impression that there ARE fans out there regularly buying the comics.

I have been, and always will be, open about the publishing side. For many, many decades double and treble book keeping, lying and much more were the common norm in comics -in the UK as well as the USA. It is a pity that other small Independent publishers do not publish their true sales so that people can see how bad things are.  Okay, in the UK a lot of small press publishers fib openly -some as I witnessed myself a few years back, panicking when they were told a member of HM Taxes and Revenue was in the building!  Honestly, the number of people grabbing anyone to tell them "I'm selling nothing!" was amusing.

For my part I lowered the prices of books to the point that some (so long as not sold in the US which taxes me!) will only make me 50p to £1.00 to encourage sales.  Not the slightest difference.  In fact we have two choices for this new age of comics:

The Dark Ages
The Age of Indifference

If you can support Indie publishers do -but by buying not telling people you buy when you do not.

There goes the laptop. Stay safe!

Crisis On Infinite Earths: Every Confirmed Character

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

You DO or You DON'T or You Just PRETEND To

The bull-shit is still around it seems.

I left my last UK comics forum yesterday as I was sick of the bickering and nastiness going on not to mention the lies.

There were two members in particular.  One stated that he put his money where his mouth is and purchased a good few Black Tower books. I see all the sales and I can tell you that this was an outright lie.

The second one reported that he had made a sizable PayPal donation to CBO via the PayPal donation link to the right.  Another outright lie since it currently reads £00.00

No one seemed to know I was on the group (though I was clearly listed as a member).  So I pointed out these lies. Waited an hour -no response.  Left the forum.

I have seen people on forums before mentioning that they support British comics and have purchased Black Tower books.  They never have.

This is just outright lying to, I suppose, get some kind of kudos? If those people REALLY want to buy the books they know where the online store is -I left them a link. If they REALLY want to donate that box is on the right.

I mention this because it makes it appear like I am doing far better than I have disclosed. I am not. You see comments from people like that ask for a copy of the invoice or a photo of them holding the comic they 'bought' -then hold onto your hats for the utter indignant responses!

Xanadu: è online il sito della XVI edizione

Monday, 11 November 2019

Chinese Entrepreneurs....British Comics?

I was asked by someone, in person rather than online, whether I had been serious when I wrote a post about British comics could be published by Chinese or Indian businessmen?

Well, of course I was. After I first posted that both India and China had the growing economies and infrastructure that could handle a new wave of comics in the UK I had two Indian publishers get in touch. Nothing after that.  India has not shown that it is interested in expanding beyond its borders when it comes to comics publishing so after a good few years I think they can be rules out.

That leaves China. Either an existing company or an entrepreneur looking to set up in the UK. When you look at all the data and facts it is quite clear (US companies seem bent on destroying their own industry at the moment) that the only country with the facilities and businessmen willing to invest is China (seemingly, according top news today, they may have saved British Steel).

If you are passionate about comics then you want to see them making their way to comic fans. Cinebook the 9th Art moved into the UK market and has not looked back.

It's just a queastion of finding that comics interested entrepreneur!

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Dwarven Stronghold! How to Build a Simple Miniature Castle for D&D or Wa...

Mysterious & Strange Beasts

Mysterious & Strange Beasts
After more than a year I should not have to keep writing this but the POD doesn't seem to be arsed: Books DO NOT only ship from North America but from YOUR local POD printer.
No excuses!

Humans have always been fascinated by reports of strange and mysterious beasts prowling the Earth. But are they fact or fantasy?
What were the mystery beasts that killed people in France during the17th and 18th centuries?
Are there Bigfoot-like creatures in the UK?
What about the reports of werewolves?
Are humanoid bat-like creatures flying around the United States and UK?

Many others are included in this book such as the Vampire of Niali, the Devil's foot-prints of Gatagon; The Supernatural Invasion: Slender-man and Black Eyed Kids Mystery Creature of the Bay of Flamanville,Things Caught on Camera –Fact and Fiction,The Bat Creatures, The Owl-man The British Pig-man and Snake-man, The Pictish Beast Shunka Warak'in –A Hyena Too Far? and many others.

Let's Set Things Straight And Move On

Posted on 8th November on the Black Tower Face Book page:

Let's be honest for a moment since it seems that honesty is not a common commodity in 2019 and has rarely been known in British comics.
Firstly, and I know the person (based in the West Midlands) who started and spread this. He accidentally sent me an email intended for a publisher that was pure character assassination. I am very professional when it comes to work
For reviews I have given fair to excellent reviews of books produced by persons I hate with a vengeance because of things they have done. I know people find it hard to understand since I could NOT review the book or even get back at the person involved. No.
I switch off "personal" and look at things solely as a professional (unpaid) reviewer. The thing is that Comic Bits Online could easily be used to totally destroy someone but that then puts me in the same corner as the hack mouthpieces. It would mean embroiling CBO readers from damn near every country in the world in my own personal grudges. That I would NEVER do. I respect the readers and provide them with good content.
If people choose to believe comic book 'nice guys' who seem to be embroiled in non-stop back-stabbing and arguing online then that says more about them.
I do not "scream" or get "very aggressive" at the drop of the hat. If people lie or cheat me then that is between them and me and I do not act unprofessionally because I'm pissed off. If you are in comics and you wanted to contact me but heard the "rumours" then you should contact me.
End of story on that one.
My ego. ahem. I laughed at that. I really, seriously do not have an ego. If I did and went to bars at most conventions then I'd be...someone else. Ask anyone who actually knows me -there are very limited numbers!- and also ask them MY opinion on MY own work! I was told by a senior comics editor "You need to actually develop an ego!"
My 'drunken behaviour'. If you see someone write or talk about that you are hearing/reading the words of a liar. I very very rarely touched alcohol (it used to burn out of my system within an hour) and I had my last Berliner beer along with my mother in the 1980s and after her death, some years later, even the rare once a year beer was gone. So not touched alcohol since c 1989.
I set out to be a publisher of comics in the 1970s and, perhaps, a writer. Definitely not drawing. I still get very embarrassed if someone says they like my work and how good it is. I see faults in every line. However, when you have scripts and artists being work shy with deadlines or just dropping out partway through a need to do what you need to do. The statement that I believe I am a massively talented artist actually leaves me in hysterics at times.
Apart from du Pruytens (hardening in the hands) and suspected severe arthritis in my hands -very painful- my eye sight with Type 2 diabetes (minor bleeds at the back of the eyes) aint getting better (So "He thinks he looks so cool in those wraparound sunglasses!" doesn't even come into it). I do what I can do because if I am not writing (and I am shocked this laptop has not ceased functioning once during writing this!)then I have to draw and still have more projects than I can ever hope to complete in my allotted time.
Sales for 2019 up to today (8th November)stand at £31.00 (depending on currency fluctuation when I get the payment that could turn into £25.00). That is not keeping Black Tower Books in business and definitely not getting me a computer and without the computer I cannot publish or in fact write any more books (I still have my two old portable typewriters but that is pointless of course!).
I'm blocked at UK events (all that is on CBO so let's not go into that here) so cannot sell boos direct and I have four boxes full of stock! Small Press events consider me too slick with my product -yes, three times I've been told my publications are too slick and professional looking by event organisers.
as for my more arty Maakika Book -not sold a copy since it came out in...2014? Yet that work got a LOT of online praise. Go figure.
I have Green Skies to letter but cannot -the scans from this laptop are awful anyway. I certainly cannot publish the 8 issues of Black Tower Super Heroes -PDF converter is VERY expensive and all my programmes I used were on the old computer and would cost (right now) around £400 to purchase and install..luckily I dont have a computer then!
I had hoped that people who bought books might at least spread the word. They never do. That said, people who have the books in Europe have not only given them good reviews on their blogs but links to my online store. Only thing missing from that is sales!
Very bleak all of this. Maybe I should have made it a Christmas message? I wish I could blame Brexit!!
Anyway, there you are.

Spider-Man Webpack (Cosplay Backpack) Tutorial

Friday, 8 November 2019

The History of MASK: The 1985 Cartoon and Toyline

Blog and adverts

They say a popular site is the target spammers like to hit -here they get stopped very quickly.

Also, the number of adverts people try to get onto a site.  I just checked and in the short life of this blog 958,000+ have been stopped.

If you want readers here to see your ad -no gambling, alcohol or sex sites- then get in contact as I do cheap ad rates.

Sideshow Collectibles Gambit Maquette | NYCC 2019!

Thursday, 7 November 2019


Kult Creations: Armageddon Patrol Book 2

Credits...big clue above!


Black and white interior

US comic size



At last the second collection of the critically acclaimed series is available! Gathering together the 

final five issues of the Alchemy Texts comic from 2002 – 03 (including the ‘First Mission’ 


All stories written by John A. Short (Reverend Cross/Diabolica) with art by Chris Askham, Simon 

Ecob, Craig John, Paul Moran, Alex Paterson & Stephen Prestwood! Covers by Craig John!

Over 120 pages of gritty, foul-mouthed, bloody jungle warfare with Maiden America and her band of 

freaks and misfits! Black & white with colour covers.

The original Armageddon Patrol (vol. 1) I reviewed here in...2011!

You can order both books via the Kult Creations site:

If you like gritty war stories this ought to please you.  The art styles vary but you have to take the rough with the smooth though the stories do hold up well and Short's company is full of fun and surprises as long time CBOers will know.

My favourite in this book has to be Made in America not just because of the lovely art of Caig John but because Octobriana turns up and gets the party started!

As always -recommended.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019


So Yahoo Groups Are being deleted.....

...but will still be there though you can't post or...

This just in from Yahoo (or Google -and you think I'm joking about Google thinking of closing Blogger?) which isn't sure whether its collective finger up its arse is the same as its collective fingure up its anus.

Yahoo! (Google)

Friday, 1 November 2019

Cinebook, Publisher of the best-selling European comic books for all ages.

For many English-speaking readers, knowledge of European comic books is limited to popular characters Tintin and Asterix.
Lucky Luke, Iznogoud, Blake & Mortimer, XIII, Valerian, Thorgal, Largo Winch, Spirou & Fantasio, Billy & Buddy, Yakari, the Bluecoats, Yoko Tsuno, Buck Danny, Cedric . . . These European comic book characters, already boasting more than 300 million copies sold, are featured stars in Cinebook’s catalogue.
The comic book and its close relative, the graphic novel, are a highly respected art form in France, Belgium and the rest of Western Europe—so well regarded that Cinebook takes our tagline (“The 9th Art Publisher”) from the classification of comic books as No. 9 on the list of plastic arts in Europe (Plastic Art list: 1st-Architecture; 2nd-Painting; 3rd-Sculpture; 4th-Engraving; 5th-Drawing; 6th-Photo; 7th-Cinema; 8th-Television; 9th-Comic books), In fact, one of every eight books sold in France is a comic book.
Since the end of 2005, Cinebook has worked to become the premier publisher of the Franco-Belgian Ninth Art in English in markets dominated by American superhero comics and Japanese manga.
Cinebook selects series and individual titles based on a number of factors in order to please a wide range of readers—factors such as geographic settings, protagonists’ age and gender, historic themes, genres, etc.
Cinebook publishes top-selling Franco-Belgian authors and series in English:

René Goscinny, co-creator and writer of the Asterix series, has sold 500 million books. His Lucky Luke, a cowboy character dubbed “the man who shoots faster than his own shadow” and created with Morris, has sold over 250 million copies in multiple languages and is popular with all ages.
Along with Lucky Luke, Cinebook released in 2008 Goscinny’s hilarious character the grand vizier Iznogoud, who wants to become Caliph instead of the Caliph in old Baghdad.
Edgar P. Jacobs (Blake & Mortimer) and Roger Leloup (Yoko Tsuno), both of whom worked with Hergé (the father of Tintin), have sold, respectively, 12 million and six million copies.
Jean Van Hamme is one of Belgium’s most successful contemporary novelists and comic writers. Thorgal, his exciting fantasy series with Rosinski, and Largo Winch with Francq (which was adapted to the big screen in 2008, with a sequel in 2011) have sold, respectively, 13 million and 10 million copies. At the end of 2008, Cinebook added Lady S, Van Hamme’s espionage series with Aymond, and The Francis Blake Affair with Benoit, based on the Blake & Mortimer characters of E. P. Jacobs.
In 2010, Van Hamme's most famous series XIII joined Cinebook's catalogue. The adventures of the tattooed amnesiac had never been translated past the 3rd volume before, but they were published at the rhythm of one every two months, and the original series was completed in 2013 – until a second season was launched in 2014, which is being translated concurrently.
Raoul Cauvin excels in humorous adventures and visual gags for all ages. His Bluecoats with Lambil, starring two soldiers in the U.S. Union Army during the Civil War, and his Cedric with Laudec, about an eight-year-old boy, have sold, respectively, more than 15 million and eight million copies.
Stephen Desberg, an American living in Belgium, is one of the most successful new-generation comic writers for young adults (15 and older) and adults. His IR$ series with Vrancken stars a specialist from a little-known branch of the Internal Revenue Service. The Scorpion with Marini is a swashbuckling thriller series set in the mysterious shadows of the 18th century Vatican. Each series has sold more than one million copies.
Francis Bergèse, pilot and aviation enthusiast, is the most reputable illustrator in the area of aviation art and was chosen to be in charge of the new Buck Danny adventures. This series, the creation of Georges Troisfontaines, Victor Hubinon and Jean-Michel Charlier, has sold 15 million copies. Bergèse also adapted non fiction history into graphic novels which have been translated under the label Cinebook Recounts.
Sylvain Runberg, a young French author living in Sweden and a rising star of the BD world, created the science-fiction series Orbital with Serge Pellé; the adventures of a human-alien pair of diplomatic super-agents have been met with critical acclaim. With Eduardo Ocaña he gives the reader an alternate version of the life of a great scientist in Darwin's Diaries.
Leo, creator of The Worlds of Aldebaran (Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, Antares, The Survivors), takes the theme of the colonisation of space further than most sci-fi comics. His series has sold more than one million copies. In collaboration with Rodolphe, he also created Kenya, a gripping sci-fi mystery in late 40s Africa complete with dinosaurs and UFOs, followed by second season Namibia.
Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mezieres are two very important figures of French BD, and their creation Valerian and Laureline has defined French science-fiction for over 40 years and sold 2.5 million copies, not to mention it's had a broad and lasting influence over many other works of sci-fi, including Star Wars itself. Now at long last it is being made into a major feature film by Luc Besson, with Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna and Clive Owen; Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets will be out in July 2017.
Two legendary series of the ninth art joined the crew in 2009. Billy and Buddy, about a little boy and his canine best friend, and Spirou and Fantasio (created in 1938), the flagship series of Spirou Magazine, have respectively sold 25 million and 20 million copies.
Xavier Dorison, a young author but already an old hand of the comic world, has written several highly regarded series with distinguished artists. With Fabien Nury and Christian Rossi, he created SPOOKS, chronicling the otherworldly adventures of a very special team of investigators in early 20th century America. And with the immensely talented Mathieu Lauffray, it's the story of original pirate Long John Silver he tells us, 20 years after the events of Treasure Island.
Fabien Vehlmann is regarded as one of the great names in the new generation of comic writers. His wonderfully dark and cynical Green Manor, illustrated by Denis Bodart, delighted English-speaking readers. In 2014, Cinebook began publishing his hit series Alone, drawn by Bruno Gazzotti. This tale of five children waking up in a deserted city has drawn critical acclaim in both French and English, as well as the public’s seal of approval.
Thank you for sharing with us a passion for the numerous talents of the Ninth Art!